Our latest Newsletter can be viewed on WGSP Newsletter 8th November 2019
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The national disadvantage gap could be significantly reduced if schools are able to help their disadvantaged pupils reach at least the average performance achieved by their 30 most similar schools – that’s according to new research published today by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as it re-launches its Families of Schools Database, designed as a starting point for schools aiming to close their disadvantage gap.
The new version of the EEF’s Families of Schools Database includes 19,575 primary and secondary schools with the latest available attainment data. This free, online database can help schools understand more about their disadvantage gaps – the difference in attainment between pupils from disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged backgrounds – by enabling easier comparisons with other, similar schools across the country.
Every school in England has been placed into ‘families’ for the EEF by FFT Education Datalab, based on the characteristics of pupils who attend them, such as the proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM). The potential for individual schools to work towards closing the national disadvantage gap is revealed by analysis of the data commissioned by the EEF. The research looked at what would happen if schools performed as well as the average in their Families of Schools Database ‘family’:
The primary school disadvantage gap could be closed by 38% (reduced from the current 18.5 percentage points to 11.4 percentage points). This is equivalent to an additional 13,500 disadvantaged 11 year-olds achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths. The secondary school disadvantage gap could be closed by 6% (reduced from the current 11.2 points to 10.5 points). This would mean the average Attainment 8 score for disadvantaged pupils increasing from 38.3 to 40.0.
Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said:
“Across the country, hundreds of schools – of every type, in every kind of community – demonstrate that it is possible to support disadvantaged children to achieve fantastic results. What we need now is to improve the consistency in our system, narrowing the gap between schools and for children. Using the EEF’s Families of Schools Database to find other, similar schools achieving more for their disadvantage pupils offers an essential pathway to collaboration. Improving the consistency of our system may not sound glamorous, but would make a huge difference. If every primary school raised the attainment of its disadvantaged pupils to at least the average of the other schools in its family, the gap nationally would be reduced by over a third.”
This week had 27 heads, senior leaders and teachers from our schools spending the day looking at the new Educational Inspection Framework and its core principles of:
- The new curriculum at the heart of the inspection
- No need to produce progress and attainment data “for Ofsted”, helping reduce unnecessary workload
- All pupils should have access to a high-quality education
The day began by covering an overview of the inspection process and dispelling some Ofsted myths. It then focussed on looking at the Quality of Education through deep dives, and how to gather evidence on the curriculum intent, implementation and impact over a sample of subjects, topics or aspects.
The feedback from the day was excellent, with the CPD Impact forms (which all attendees, including heads(!) are expected to complete), full of actions to be carried out over the short, medium and long term. As a result of the many requests for further subject specific sessions, additional Deep Dive sessions are being organised for:
So, watch this space!
You will have seen in previous editions of the newsletter this term, that we would soon be recruiting through UCAS for our next cohort of Schools Direct students to start in September 2020. Our programme has now gone live on the DfE website Get into Teaching where you can search for more information on our programme using one of the following:
- Name: WGSPschoolsdirect
- Training provider code: 2C1
- Training programme code: 3CPC
Nothing matters more to the success of our children than the quality of teachers in our schools. To ensure that this continues, we set our bar high when recruiting students as only the best will do. In return, we provide opportunities to train across the different types of schools and classes as well as providing a comprehensive programme which makes use of the many experts across our schools as well as experts from outside of our partnership, covering all aspects of the curriculum and pedagogy. As the Schools Direct approach means students are in school from the beginning, every single day spent in the classroom working alongside class-teachers and mentors, forms “part and parcel” of training to become a teacher. Our students are also enrolled with the University of Gloucestershire which provides the academic element of the programme.
We’ve made sure that a strong culture of support exists for our students from their school-based mentors and our Lead Mentor. Our weekly newsletter shows what our partnership provides for our schools and the priority we place on developing our staff and providing them with information and resources to support them in their work with our children. This support is provided as a matter of course to all our student teachers as they are our teachers of the future! As a result, we have students who emerge from their training, fully prepared for the intensity of their first years in the profession and passionate and inspired about the difference they can make in the years ahead.
We are looking for potential candidates to train to teach with us. Please share the information on our programme and how to apply, with colleagues, parents at your school and friends who may be considering teaching as a career as applications are accepted now for our 2020-21 programme. Further information can be found on: WGSP Schools Direct
So, what are you waiting for? Come and join us!
In WGSP, we are great believers in keeping up to date on current issues, sharing good practice and resources. This week was no exception.
On Tuesday, 22 members of The Office (our network for SBMs, finance and admin staff) met to hear updates and share good practice on:
- Restructuring – What You Need to Know!
- School Admissions
- What’s New in Data Protection
- Early Help- What’s it all about?
The morning also provided great network opportunities as well as time to catch up on each other’s news.
On Thursday, 23 heads from our partnership and (because we like to share good things), five heads / SLT members from schools across Gloucestershire, met to listen to Jamie Pembroke providing “Another Update on Nearly Everything!” which was excellent in pulling together all the latest information on accountability. The rest of the day concentrated on an in-depth look at the new Education Inspection Framework and its implications for schools and the new processes involved – very thought provoking and initially scary until we got our heads around it (no pun intended!). We also had time to share thoughts and experiences as it’s great to talk.
We intend where possible, to continue opening up our Partnership Network Meetings to heads from outside our partnership as it provides great CPD for headteachers. So if you would like to join us, get in touch!
A new EEF guidance published today recommends that social and emotional learning should be prioritised to avoid “missed opportunity” to improve children’s outcomes. Key findings from new guidance published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in partnership with the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) show that effective social and emotional learning (SEL) can increase positive pupil behaviour, mental health and well-being, and academic performance. However, despite being seen as one of their top priorities by almost all primary schools, only just over one-third say that dedicated planning for SEL is central to their practice.
The report – Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools – reviews the best available research to offer school leaders six practical recommendations to support good SEL for all children. It stresses this is especially important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and other vulnerable groups, who, on average, have weaker SEL skills at all ages than their better-off classmates.
Evidence from the EEF’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit suggests that effective SEL can lead to learning gains of +4 months over the course of a year. Yet – even though SEL is already a large (and often unrecognised) part of their current job – few teachers receive support on how they can develop these skills in their everyday teaching practice. This is particularly important at a time when schools are reviewing their core vision and curriculum offer and planning to implement statutory Relationships and Health education.
Sean Harford writing in the special edition of the School Inspection Update published this week, has described how Inspections under the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) will focus on the real substance of education: the curriculum.
“We will be spending less time looking at test and examinations data on inspection, and more time looking at what is taught, when it is taught and how schools have achieved their results: ‘Why that, why then and what is the result?’
We want to make sure that good results come from teaching a broad, rich curriculum, not from narrowing and hothousing for tests. Ofsted grades will reflect the areas that matter most to parents and for educational effectiveness:
- quality of education
- behaviour and attitudes
- personal development
- leadership and management.”
The School Inspection Update focuses on the transition arrangements for section 5 inspections under the EIF, as well as applying the transition to section 8 inspections of good schools. It also includes articles on:
- The new Ofsted Parent View questions
- Outstanding primary schools
- Meetings with curriculum leaders
- Clarification on schools keeping books between different academic years
- The healthy school rating scheme
The full Update can be found: Ofsted School Inspection Update September 2019
The EIF can be found: Education Inspection Framework
The summer is time to catch your breath, having time to dream, wind down from the hectic summer term and slowly start to think about the year ahead. It’s also times like this that staff ask themselves: What difference do I make to the children I teach or support?
More importantly, the question should be: What difference can I make?
Dr Amir Khan GP (@DrAmirKhanGP) who is a regular contributor to BBC Breakfast News and ITV Calendar as well as appearing in lots of other TV shows, tweeted on Monday:
Saw a young boy today who said he wanted to be a Doctor but said people from “round here” don’t get to become doctors
I told him:
I grew up round the corner from here. Dad was a bus driver, Mum started as a cleaner and seamstress
If I can do it so can YOU – just work hard
This is what working in schools is all about – encouraging children to aspire and helping them get there. Working in a school whether as a teacher or in another role, makes a difference to children, with visible results. If you ask most potential teachers “why do you want to become a teacher?” They’ll mention the ability to make a real difference in children’s lives. Unlike other professions where you may work behind the scenes, staff in schools see the visible changes up front. There’s nothing quite like seeing the spark of understanding on a child’s face as a lesson “clicks” for them. Why do it? So that you can impact children from all walks of life, imparting lessons that will help shape the next generation and help them fulfil their dreams.
Unfortunately, rain has stopped play again
We have had to cancel the Country Dance Festival which was to have been held on Wednesday, 19 June 2019.
Looking forward to seeing you next year when hopefully the sun will be shining!
Deciding to become a teacher is one of the hardest decisions you will have to take as teaching is not right for everyone.Teaching can be very hard work and at times scary when you think about the responsibility you have in supporting the children you will teach. It can be a high-pressured career, with the continual media headlines, outlining stories of how difficult the classroom and school environment can be, so it is important to celebrate and share the rewards that come with role too.
“Teaching is an incredible job. It’s different every day and building those relationships with your class and helping the children to fulfil their potential, is an amazing privilege.” Schools Direct Student(more…)